September 16, 1989 |
Ralston Purina Co. said yesterday that it had signed a letter of intent to buy Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp., the Fort Washington baby-food maker that two years ago pleaded guilty to selling phony apple juice. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Elmer D. Richars, spokesman for Ralston, said it could take 60 days to complete the purchase from Beech-Nut's current owner, Nestle S.A. of Switzerland. Beech-Nut officials would not comment on the deal. In purchasing Beech-Nut, Ralston would be making a significant addition to its line of pet foods and baked goods.
April 2, 1989 |
Despite a full-blown save-the-bakery movement, it appears that Pittsburgh's Braun Baking Co. will be closed and its jobs transferred to a plant in Northeast Philadelphia. Efforts by church, civic and labor groups in Pittsburgh to keep the plant open were rebuffed Wednesday by the Ralston Purina Co. "The decision to close the plant is final," said Cathy Dunkin, a spokeswoman for Ralston Purina, based in St. Louis. "The building and its equipment are completely outdated, and we've got a modern plant in Philadelphia.
July 14, 1987 |
Ralston Purina Co., the $6 billion food and feed conglomerate, announced yesterday that it had signed an agreement to sell its Drake Bakeries Inc. subsidiary to a group of private investors. The sale of Drake, scheduled to be completed in 45 days, appears to be a major victory for Philadelphia's Tasty Baking Co., which filed a suit against Ralston in federal court last year to block the company's acquisition of Drake, saying it was a violation of antitrust statutes. But while the divestiture of Drake would mark the end to almost a year of litigation in the case, an attorney for Tasty said yesterday he would "remain cautious" until the sale is final.
July 14, 1987 |
Ralston Purina has agreed to sell its Drake Bakeries subsidiary to a private group led by Drake management - a move that should ensure a continued healthy slice of the snack cake market for Tastykake. Drake had given Ralston indigestion almost from the start: Right after Ralston announced last July that it had agreed to buy Drake from Borden, Tasty Baking Co., parent company of Tastykake, filed suit in federal court to block the purchase. Tasty argued that merging Drake with Ralston's Continental Baking subsidiary, the company behind the Twinkee and other Hostess cakes and pies, would combine Tasty's two top competitiors and could create a monopoly that would pose a "clear threat to free and open competition.
April 25, 1987 |
Ralston Purina Co., the $6 billion conglomerate locked in an antitrust suit with Philadelphia's Tasty Baking Co., has hired Morgan Guaranty Trust to study the possible sale of its Drake Bakeries unit. The move comes three months after a federal judge in Philadelphia ruled that Ralston had illegally tried to monopolize the $1 billion snack-cake industry when it bought Drake in July. Ralston last week appealed the ruling of U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam that keeps Ralston from integrating Drake into its other baking company, Continental Baking Co. Patrick T. Farrell, a spokesman for the St. Louis-based corporation, said yesterday that the appointment of Morgan Guaranty would not affect the appeal and that Ralston would continue its efforts to overturn Fullam's ruling.
February 27, 1987 |
Tasty Baking Co. has won a skirmish in the snack wars that will temporarily stop its two top competitors from combining into a powerful monopoly that could gobble up Tasty's share of the snack cake market. U.S. District Judge John Fullam yesterday issued an order temporarily preventing Ralston Purina, which owns Hostess and Drake, from combining the two companies, pending a full hearing. Meanwhile, Tasty will post a bond of $1 million to cover any Ralston losses resulting from the delay if the courts eventually allow the merger to proceed.
February 26, 1987 |
Strange things often lurk in cereal boxes. The usual fare runs the gamut from dish towels, china and model cars to candy, chewing gum and dolls. But lately, manufacturers have upped the ante. In increasingly clamorous efforts to gain attention on the supermarket shelves, cereal companies are spiking their products with jewels and even cash. General Mills has tucked dollar bills into boxes of Cheerios. Procter & Gamble has brought a little bit of Las Vegas to the detergent racks of your local grocery store by putting diamonds inside boxes of Spic and Span.
February 12, 1987 |
Ralston Purina Inc., which lost a major court ruling last month in its antitrust battle with Tasty Baking Co., said in court papers filed this week that it was "giving serious consideration" to divesting itself of a leading competitor to Tasty. Such an action would be a momentous victory for Philadelphia-based Tasty and would mark the end of a legal struggle that began in July when a Ralston Co. subsidiary, Continental Baking Co., which markets Hostess snack cakes and pies, purchased Drake Bakeries for $115 million.
January 24, 1987 |
What do you get when you cross a Hostess Twinkie with a Drake's Cake? A federal court order more than 60-pages thick that will give Ralston Purina indigestion. U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam yesterday ordered Ralston Purina, which owns Hostess' parent company and in July bought Drake Baking Co. from Borden, to divest itself of Drake. Hostess and Drake are the two chief competitors of Tasty Baking Co., of Philadelphia, makers of Tastykakes. After hearing arguments that the combination of the two snack-food giants would create a monopoly, threatening Tasty's ability to compete, the judge wrote, "The public has good reason to fear the consequences of defendant's acquisition.